Celebrating our graduates

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CAS - Compass E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

Commencement 2016

Dear Arts and Science community:

On May 13, I had the pleasure and excitement of attending my first Commencement at Vanderbilt. The day brought beautiful spring weather—a wonderful setting for celebrating Arts and Science graduates’ four years of hard work and dedication. The university conferred 929 bachelor of arts degrees, 65 master’s degrees, and 41 Ph.Ds upon students from the College of Arts and Science.


We honored our two top undergraduates, Leslie Bruce as our Founder’s Medalist and Jung Min Shin as the Banner Bearer, during the ceremony. The careers of these undergraduate students remind us what the College of Arts and Science seeks to offer all our students: wide scope for intellectual discovery combined with opportunities for in-depth learning and research.

Leslie_Bruce160x160For Leslie, a passionate interest in international history and social justice led her to serve as a fellow with Humanity in Action. That experience connected her to an international group of students working to document histories of discrimination and opened the opportunity to learn from activists about the struggle to combat Islamophobia in France. Meanwhile, Leslie powered through an array of advanced courses spanning the sciences, social sciences and humanities. After graduation, she will serve as an assistant to Judge Sri Srinivasan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—the first step, she hopes, toward becoming a constitutional law professor.

Jung-Min-Shin160x160Jung Min, a citizen of South Korea and a Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar, was drawn to interdisciplinary research at Vanderbilt. As a Littlejohn Research Student Fellow, Jung worked with Haerin Shin, assistant professor of Asian studies, reading Asian American narratives through the lens of cognitive science. Jung joined Professor Shin to present their research at three conferences, including one in Japan. She plans to focus on human rights law when she enters Harvard Law School in the fall.

These extraordinary students, and all of our 2016 graduates, have benefited from the robust, diverse intellectual community that is the hallmark of a great liberal arts institution. They have also helped to create that rich community. I am proud of their accomplishments, and I can’t wait to see what they will do next as they join the global community of Vanderbilt alumni.

Congratulations, 2016 graduates!

Dean Benton Signature

Lauren Benton
Dean, College of Arts and Science
Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Professor of History

Arts and Science in the news

Stassun-_Keivan160x160Is there an alien megastructure out there? Keivan Stassun , professor of astronomy, Stevenson Professor of Physics, and senior associate dean for graduate education and research, says no and was quoted in several media outlets, including USA Today, EarthSky, Red Orbit and Live Science.

TED_Talk_Jedidah_Isler160x160National Geographic interviewed Jedidah Isler , a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in Vanderbilt’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, about her research into blazars—supermassive, hyperactive black holes in distant galaxies. She is also featured in Vanderbilt Magazine and on our website.

Zald-David160x160Why do we like being scared? A study by David Zald, professor of psychology, is mentioned in a Washington Post story on the science of fear.

alma-mater-160x160-cropStudents put ‘Nashville’ twist on the alma mater

Danielle_Pettiti-160x160Student-curated projects launch library exhibition

Tiana_Clark_fi-160x160Writers-in-residence inspire first-year students

j-Landers-160x160Landers’ slave record project wins Mellon grant

2016_Emeriti_faculty-160x160Seven A&S faculty named as emeriti 

globe29 Arts and Science students receive global humanities award

brazil-160pGraduate anthropology students land grants, win awards



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